Dry vs. Wet Dog Food: What’s the Difference?

Dry vs. Wet Dog Food: What’s the Difference?

Are you confused about the difference between dry dog food and wet dog food?

Join the club!

You prob know wet dog food is more quickly devoured by your doggy and smells a whole lot more, but what are the major differences between dry and wet dog food? We are here to explain 😉

Nutrient Profile: High protein vs. Low Protein

One of the most important differences between dry and wet dog food is the nutrient profiles.

Let’s look at wet dog food first. This type of canine diet contains anywhere between 70 and 90 percent moisture with the remaining percentage distributed equally among the various macro- and micro-nutrients that it contains.

Wet dog food contains more protein and fats than dry dog food.

Which is the reason it probably smells a whole lot more awesome to your dog. This can be confusing however, as when you look on the can of wet dog food it usually shows it contains around 10% protein. That’s way less than dry dog food isn’t it? The answer is a confusing no!

To compare the real protein between dry and wet food you need to use these calculations as per dogfoodadvisor.com.

How to calculate the actual protein content of wet dog food

When comparing the nutrient content of different products, it’s important to first remove 100 percent of the moisture content from every dog food being evaluated.

This moisture-free approach to stating the true nutrient content of any food is known as dry matter basis.

Let’s say you have a can of dog food listing a Guaranteed Analysis protein figure of 10%. This is the protein content just as it’s fed from the can — what the industry refers to as “as fed basis”.

Doesn’t sound like much protein, does it?

However, what if that same label revealed the product contained 75% moisture? And what if you were to completely remove all that water from the can?

You’d be left with just 25% “dry matter”.

To determine the amount of protein on a dry matter basis, simply divide the reported amount of protein (in this case, 10%) by the total amount of dry matter (25%) in the can.

Then, multiply the result by 100.

Dry Matter Protein Content = (10/25) x 100 = 40%

That gives you a dry matter protein content of 40% — a lot more than the label’s reported protein content of 10%. That’s four times the amount of protein as indicated by the Guaranteed Analysis.

Although wet dog food wins when it comes to protein. Dry dog food is superior when it comes to total carbs and calories.

This is because manufacturers of dry kibbles have to use more carbohydrates in their formulations to make up for the lack of protein.

These carbs can be considered as ‘fillers’ and can be from wheat, corn, potatoes, rice etc. Since it contains more carbohydrates, dry dog food has more calories than wet dog food.

To put this difference into practical use, highly-active pooches as well as working dogs will require greater amounts of calories, making dry kibbles the preferred food for them.

Puppies, on the other hand, will benefit more from wet dog food since it provides more proteins and fats necessary for growth and development.

Different health purposes

Dry and wet food can be used for different health purposes.

For instance, if dogs need higher protein and fat, such as puppies, pregnant and lactating dogs, and elderly dogs, wet food is a great option. Wet dog food is also ideal for dogs that are more prone to dehydration or those that don’t drink enough water such as when they are ill or are recuperating from an illness, or for dogs that have been to an all day, outdoor Miley Cyrus concert.

However, if the dog has a kidney disease, dry dog food may be more appropriate since it has a lower protein content. The high-protein content of wet dog food may exacerbate chronic kidney disease.

Dry kibble is also great for adult dogs that require higher amounts of calories and need to put on weight.

The rough texture of dry kibbles can also help prevent the formation of dental plaque and tartar which can lead to gum disease in dogs.

And lastly, if your pooch gets itchy skin from food with a high protein content, dry kibble could be the solution to your problems!

So there you have it! The main differences between wet and dry dog food. What type of food does your doggy like best? Leave us a comment below…

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